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Thread: Popping Leveling system

  1. #1
    New Member Trijart's Avatar
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    Unhappy Popping Leveling system

    Since we purchased our rig, coming up to a year this May, there have been popping noises coming from the leveling system. When the 2 front struts are out it pops. When all 6 are out and rig is leveled they all begin popping. It pops on flat level concrete and last year when we went to the mountains the sound of the system starting for seconds at a time would wake me up. My wife could not fall back to sleep for fear that the struts would collapse.

    I took it back to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong with it and that there were no leaks. I took it back to them when I recorded the sounds on video and played it back to them. They contacted the manufacture and they recommended "Torco" fluid. My rig stayed at the dealer about a week and they said that they added a quart to the system and followed the procedures of retracting/extending the system. I took it home and it still continued popping. I went back to the dealer without the rig and told them that the popping still continued. They gave me another quart of the Torco fluid. I added it and it still continues.

    Getting ready to hit the road in about 4 weeks and I would really want the noises to stop. My 1 year warranty expires in May but the issue persists. Any ideas of what I should do? Techs, if you read this can you give me some guidance?

    Thanks,

    Art.
    Art & Terry
    2014 Solitude #366
    2014 Ford F-450 Platinum 4x4 Duallie
    Retired Police Officer '03/US Navy Vet 76-80
    El Paso, Texas

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor Kordog's Avatar
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    I have read about this problem before, I copied a post from another site: Lippert has finally offered a user fix for temperature related popping in their hydraulic four point and six point auto leveling systems used on many fifth wheel trailers. They determined the noise was caused by high stiction (static friction) in the hydraulic cylinders. Changing out a quart of hydraulic fluid for a quart of Torco RFF 15 ( 15 weight racing fork fluid) significantly reduces stiction and thereby greatly reduces the popping and jolting that many rv owners have felt. There is a recommended procedure to follow, and 10 wt fluid may also be used in cooler climates.

    I hope this helps, it seems a lot of owners with other trailers have done this due to the popping and it fixed it.
    Korey SE WI
    2014 Denali 3500HD LML DRW 4wd FS Airbags 20k Reese
    2014 Momentum 385TH #1396
    2013 Manitou SES VP 150hp Mercury 4 stroke
    Volunteer Firefighter Since 1997

  3. #3
    New Member Trijart's Avatar
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    Kordog, thanks for the response. The system now has 2 quarts of the Torco fluid and it still continues. I'm taking it to the dealer to take care of some small issues and I am going to bring up the issue again. I'm wondering if Lippert knows or GD techs know how many quarts is enough. What do they use now? Does any other owner have the same issue or was only on the early first year models?
    Art & Terry
    2014 Solitude #366
    2014 Ford F-450 Platinum 4x4 Duallie
    Retired Police Officer '03/US Navy Vet 76-80
    El Paso, Texas

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    Site Sponsor Sandi's Avatar
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    We just came back from Gulf Shores, AL and had the same issue. It seemed to stop and start at odd times. We were trying to see if it was movement in the RV that caused it but that that didn't seem to affect it. We also wondered if it was the temperature variation from nights in the 50's to days in the 70's. It just stopped and started at odd times. It is very distracting when you lay down to sleep and it starts! We will also add the Torco fluid and see if that helps!
    Allen and Sandi-Lexington, KY
    Home of fast horses and beautiful women!
    2015 Chevrolet Duramax 4 x 4 3500 HD LTZ
    2014 Solitude 369 RL-Oct. 2014
    2016 Momentum 376 TH-April 2016

  5. #5
    lilgardt
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    My friend has a 42 ft Redwood that does the same thing...he removed a certain amount of fluid as you did and replaced it with something the factory sent him probably Torco, any way they also told him not to extend the rams to all the way (don't know what all the way actually is) but he was told to place a few inches of blocks under the jacks. The popping sounds stopped.

  6. #6
    Site Sponsor Kordog's Avatar
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    Trijart, that is weird, from all that I have read that was the end all fix all, I just googled six point level up problems and I found my answers. I did these searches before I bought so I was aware of any potential problems before I bought a unit with faulty parts. I was not thrilled with the bedroom Schwintek slide mech, but I did have a trailer with one Schwintek slide wand was trouble free, so I figured a bed slide should be OK, nt like the Voltages that have all their slides that way.

    Anyway, back to your level-up problem, I hope it is resolved soon.

    I will find out this weekend if mine is noisy or not.
    Korey SE WI
    2014 Denali 3500HD LML DRW 4wd FS Airbags 20k Reese
    2014 Momentum 385TH #1396
    2013 Manitou SES VP 150hp Mercury 4 stroke
    Volunteer Firefighter Since 1997

  7. #7
    New Member Trijart's Avatar
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    Thanks Kordog, hope all's well with yours. Let me know.

    If the Torco fluid is the fix, I'm wondering how many quarts to use. I've also tried the 12x12 wood pads to see if that would ease the popping. It didn't.

    Other than that my Solitude is fantastic!

    Art.
    Art & Terry
    2014 Solitude #366
    2014 Ford F-450 Platinum 4x4 Duallie
    Retired Police Officer '03/US Navy Vet 76-80
    El Paso, Texas

  8. #8
    Manufacturer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trijart View Post
    Since we purchased our rig, coming up to a year this May, there have been popping noises coming from the leveling system. When the 2 front struts are out it pops. When all 6 are out and rig is leveled they all begin popping. It pops on flat level concrete and last year when we went to the mountains the sound of the system starting for seconds at a time would wake me up. My wife could not fall back to sleep for fear that the struts would collapse.

    I took it back to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong with it and that there were no leaks. I took it back to them when I recorded the sounds on video and played it back to them. They contacted the manufacture and they recommended "Torco" fluid. My rig stayed at the dealer about a week and they said that they added a quart to the system and followed the procedures of retracting/extending the system. I took it home and it still continued popping. I went back to the dealer without the rig and told them that the popping still continued. They gave me another quart of the Torco fluid. I added it and it still continues.

    Getting ready to hit the road in about 4 weeks and I would really want the noises to stop. My 1 year warranty expires in May but the issue persists. Any ideas of what I should do? Techs, if you read this can you give me some guidance?

    Thanks,

    Art.
    Hi Art (@Trijart),

    Grand Design recommends Caterpillar hydraulic oil additive, CAT part number 1U-9891, quart size. The dealer should follow the same procedure communicated to them by Grand Design. One quart should resolve the issue.

    If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our Customer Service department directly at (574) 825-8000.

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    Mailing & shipping address: Grand Design RV, Attn: Customer Support, 13868 CR 4, Bristol IN 46507
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  9. #9
    Member westie0506's Avatar
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    Last Friday we picked up our 2014 Solitude 305RE and the popping started immediately and like others said sometimes is worse that others - but it is especially bad at night. I also wake up and can't go back to sleep thinking the front is going to collapse. In our Alpine we added the fluid and it helped - never completely stopped. Guess we are out another $35 for a quart of fluid that should be provided by the dealer or GD. Will add that to our list to pick up tomorrow. From 2011 (our old unit) to 2014 (our new unit) there apparently has been no improvement. :-(
    Larry & Mollie
    2014 Grand Design Solitude 305RE #425
    2006 Dodge 3500 dually 4X4 quad cab
    Hometown - Slapout, Alabama
    Traveling for 4+ years

  10. #10
    New Member Trijart's Avatar
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    Westie0506,
    As you can read from my comment above yours, I too HAD that problem. Initially when I bought my rig last year the popping was driving us crazy. Grand Design then suggested I put "Torco" fork additive. The dealer did and it got worse. About 1 1/2 months I took it back to the dealer and this time they added the "Caterpillar" oil. Guess what? It worked. No more popping. I also bought a 6' 2x12 pressure treated board that I cut off at 1' increments. Those are now the footpads. No more popping.

    Hope all works out for you. Safe travels.
    Art & Terry
    2014 Solitude #366
    2014 Ford F-450 Platinum 4x4 Duallie
    Retired Police Officer '03/US Navy Vet 76-80
    El Paso, Texas

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